The Rolling Sale – FINAL ROUND!

FIGHT!

No, I’m kidding. But most of you who had a childhood in the 90s probably thought that. But moving on …

So, in a surprise, last second upset, Unusual Events sold enough to unlock the fourth sale tier for Colony! Which means that Colony, starting next week, will be 50% off!

Except it won’t.

Okay, that was mean. What I meant to say before I gave into the urge to yank the rug out from beneath you guys is that due to Amazon’s 90-day cycle being in the middle of a renewal next week, if Colony did go on sale starting Monday, said sale would also end Tuesday, since you can’t crossover between cycles.

So yeah, this one’s partially Amazon’s fault for having such a dumb restriction in the first place, and partially my fault for not seeing it coming in the first place.

However, this does not mean all is lost. No, the sale is still going to happen. Just it will be delayed by a few days. Possibly until Friday (you have to put these sales in a few days in advance, so with Wednesday being the renewal day) … I swear it’ll come as soon as I can make it happen.

However, I feel bad, since I know for a fact many of you were waiting eagerly for Monday (I’ve gotten e-mails and messages to that effect). And this one was kind of my own fault, so to make up for it, I’m upping the reward tier to rank five.

That’s right, Colony won’t be 50% off. It’ll be 63% off. And I’m thinking I’ll make the sale go for seven days as well, as an additional apology for the delay.

So yeah, extra discount and two extra days to rack up sales for the final reward tier.

What’s that? You thought Colony would be the end of it? Oh no … I’ve got a surprise coming. But I’ll save that for another post. But suffice it to say that you can expect that copies purchased during this sale will … well, you’ve seen how the rolling sale has worked thus far. So you might be able to hazard a guess.

Regardless, that’s the news for today. Apologies for the delay, sincerely, and I’ll see you all Monday.

The Dragon Awards Now Open for Voting!

I got the e-mail last night, and am about to open it and cast my votes! The nomination phase is complete, and now it’s time to vote on the year’s best Science-Fiction and Fantasy!

If you’ve nominated, you’ve probably already received your e-mail telling you to vote, but if not, you can sign up to receive a ballot here and get cracking!

Again, I have no idea what’s on the ballot, since I haven’t opened it yet. I’m doing that and casting my votes as soon as this post goes up. But I’m eager! And excited!

Go vote!

 

EDIT: And done! I have voted! Now to wait!

Colony didn’t make the final list, sadly. Ah well, it was a long shot, though I do know it had a couple of nominations, at least if I trust my fans, which I do. Next year, Dragons! I’ve got a fantasy-western coming out soon!

Classic Being a Better Writer: Foes

It’s time for another Classic Being a Better Writer post!

New? Just arrived here from Google? Or maybe Bing? Nervously moving your cursor toward the back button and wondering whether or not you found the right place? Well, if you’re looking for good books to read or—in this posts’ case—advice on how to write them, you’re in the right place. You can relax your mouse finger.

So, explanations. Being a Better Writer is a weekly feature here on Unusual Things all about the writing process. Each week, a new question is tackled, everything from “Show VS Tell” to “Pacing.”

Of course, when you’ve been doing this for four years, you end up with just a little bit of a an archive. Hundreds of articles worth. Which can make things intimidating for the newly arrived. And though everything is tagged and compatible with the search box on the right, Classic posts are a good way to introduce new readers to excellent posts from yesteryear. As well as deliver a refresher to long-time readers.

This week? Villains and their minions, one of the more popular topics of all time!


I, Villain—
The first question you need to ask yourself with your story is do I need a villain? Not every story does. There are plenty of stories out there where the main character is their own antagonist, or where the character faces a rival rather than a true villain, a rival who might not be on the same side of the hero, but isn’t explicitly against them either. Don’t feel the need to shoehorn a villain into a story that doesn’t need one. Take a step back, look at your basic plot (because a villain is something you’ll be deciding on quite early) and ask yourself what adding a villain could add to your story, but also take away. Is there a theme in mind that would be weakened by a villain’s actions? Would the story be weaker if the spotlight were splitting its time between your main character and your villain? Stronger? Is your heroes’ portrayal going to be strengthened by their interaction with the villain, or dilluted?


Developing Villains—
We can admit it. In a way, we like villains. Villains are a flavor, a spice, to our worlds and universes, an intricate part of our plotting and scheming for the story at large. And … we know this. This isn’t the first time we’ve discussed villains on this blog. Nor will it be the last. A villain isn’t a needed requirement of any story, but in the event that the story requires one, having a good villain is a key factor, and so understanding how to write a good villain is going to be integral to making sure that whatever you write is as good as you can make it.


Crafting an Army of Foes—
Mook is a slang term for the common enemy soldiers/followers/evil redshirts that the antagonist of your story is going to chew their way through over the course of the story (see a more in-depth write-up here). Basically, if your characters are facing off against a group of any size of mostly-faceless (character-wise) foes, than those foes are mooks. They might be tougher than average and pose a real challenge … or they may go down as readily as Starfleet cadets against an alien with a Nerf gun, but if they comprise the faceless horde or hordes of one faction or another that get in the way of the primary character’s objective, then you can legitimately call them mooks.


 

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The Rolling Sale Rolls On

Wednesday has arrived, and we’re halfway through the week! As well as halfway through the rolling sale for Unusual Events: A “Short” Story Collection. Currently, it’s unlocked the second sale tier for Colony, meaning it will come at 25% off, but there’s still time for further goals to be met!

Don’t forget, Kindle Unlimited reads and reviews help towards moving that counter up as well. Though with this sort of thing, even sharing news of the sale can help. The further it goes, the deeper the next discount becomes!